Human exposure to unwanted loud noise is having an increasingly negative effect on health and day to day living. Current Active Noise Control (ANC) technology is able to significantly dampen sound waves; predominantly being applied in enclosed spaces where the experience felt is personal such as headphones and the cabins of aeroplanes and cars.
ANC is effective in these environments in its’ ability to dampen unwanted noise in large rooms and open environments. However, its use can be broadened, if combined with Sound Masking technology. This involves the addition of an unobtrusive background sound; increasing privacy, productivity and significantly benefits the user by reducing the annoyance created by the unwanted noise.
DIY experimentation largely informed the methodology of this research. This was primarily done through reverse engineering, testing and modification of current ANC technology. Consultations with experts and research into Sound Masking were also undertaken. Furthering applications for ANC and Sound Masking technology, as well as gaining an understanding of their emerging relationship with the spatial environment they are employed in, was the aim of this exploration and experimentation.
It is hoped that this exploration and utilisation of this existing technology, as well as employing it in new real-world design applications; in particular a domestic urban environment, will generate discussions on what the future possibilities of these technologies could be.